Motion S5M-00698: Israel and Turkey Normalise Relations

07 Jul 2016

That the Parliament welcomes the restoration of relations between Israel and Turkey after a six-year break; believes that this can set an example for other nations in the region to improve relations between one another; further welcomes the news that, as part of the deal, Turkey has already shipped 11,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid destined for Gaza, and hopes that more nations can work together to overcome past difficulties to build a lasting peace in the region.

Question S5O-00090: Industrial Action at Scotrail

05 Jul 2016

To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on the industrial action at ScotRail.

Answered by Humza Yousaf (30/06/2016):RMT industrial action commenced on Tuesday 21 June 2016, the first of seven planned strikes involving ScotRail conductors over the extension of Driver Controlled Operation when new electric trains are introduced on the Edinburgh – Glasgow route.Safety is paramount and, as such, the Scottish Government’s priority will always be to ensure the safety and efficient running of our railways. I have chaired five meetings of the government’s Resilience Committee on this issue and have a further such meeting tomorrow.

Following further strikes on Thursday 23 June, Saturday 25 June and Sunday 26 June the remaining dates are Sundays 3, 10 and 17 July with additional action short of strike action on a number of dates through June and July.

ScotRail’s plans have been successful in easing the impact of the industrial action with around 70% of services operating, and this is anticipated to increase on future strike days.

A multi-agency response team has and will continue to operate on each of the strike dates when all modes of transport have continued to perform well. It monitors the situation throughout the day to help ensure the public has the latest information and agencies are equipped to respond to any major incidents, aiming to help to mitigate the impact on planned major events in July.

Current Status: Answered by Humza Yousaf on 30/06/2016

Death of Luke Wallace

26 Jun 2016

It is desperately sad that the young life of Luke Wallace has been ended in this way.  My thoughts go out to his family and friends and they have been in my thoughts and prayers.


Disputes between people will always arise – that is part of life.  But such disputes should be resolved without violence.  There are always better ways to solve problems than through serious injury or even a life being lost.  The police and courts are dealing with this particular case and they will be looking into what actually happened, together with all relevant factors surrounding it.


The police tell me that recent problems with anti-social behaviour are not just centred around the Maxwell Avenue area of Garrowhill but would appear to be related to school rivalry in the area.  There have been a number of incidents over the past weeks regarding youths gathering around Old Wood Road, Garrowhill Park and Maxwell Drive.  The police have also been working with officers in Coatbridge.


The police are looking at extra patrols and they have had off road bikes in the area. I understand they also deployed a Gangs Taskforce in the area on recent weekends.  In addition they have told me they have the area prioritised on their own local patrol plan so officers give it extra attention.


The police are continuing to bolster patrols in the area both in uniform and in plain clothes and have requested additional officers from the Divisional Violence Reduction Unit for patrols on both early shifts and late shifts.  Community Safety Glasgow are also involved in making this a priority area for mobile CCTV patrols and warden patrols.


I am pleased that the police are targeting resources in the area with a visible presence and an increase in numbers of uniformed and plain clothes officers.  I think that is all we can ask from them.


On the wider question of violence in the East End of Glasgow, we need to continue pressing for action against the carrying and use of knives.  Stop and search has been a controversial subject but it is supported by many of the public as a way of preventing problems before they happen.  I also welcome work that the schools and other youth organisations do to help young people work through their problems without resorting to violence.


If any constituent or group of constituents would like to sit down with me to talk through these issues, I would be very willing to do so.



John Mason  26 June 2016.

Positives on the Named Person

25 Jun 2016